Artwork courtesy of Joshua Stolte
Welcome back to the Star Wars HoloNet Digest, a weekly feature where I bring you a recap of the latest news from the world of Star Wars. Whether it’s an Episode VII rumor or a noteworthy author interview, you’ll find it here. Let’s check the HoloNet and see what happened in the past week.
Our top story this week is the brief teaser video for Star Wars Rebels that aired on Disney XD on Monday evening. The clip, available here, was the very definition of a tease. It lasted around fifteen seconds and featured a voice-over alerting viewers to the fact that “a Rebel Alliance will form, the Jedi will rise, and you will know the power of the Force” when Rebels premieres next fall. Naturally, this quote provoked a lot of speculation. How will the Jedi rise without interfering with the Empire’s (and especially Tarkin’s) assessment of them in Episode IV? Just how much of the Alliance’s formation will we see? How exactly will we feel the power of that mystical energy field? All kidding aside, I remain very excited for Star Wars Rebels, and I expect I’ll have a lot more to say about it after the Rebels panel at this weekend’s New York Comic Con.
With Lucasfilm reportedly “going silent for a period” beginning now, there haven’t been many Episode VII casting, location, or story rumors in the past week. We heard again from actress Saoirse Ronan, who told Empire magazine’s podcast that she had pretended to wield a lightsaber for her Episode VII audition. But lest you think she’s clued into the film’s story, Ronan added that “nobody has a clue what it’s about” because “nobody’s read the script.” I’m not surprised that Ronan had to audition without knowing exactly who she’d be playing. Abrams and company wouldn’t want to risk plot or character leaks at this early stage. I also continue to think that Ronan would make a fine addition to Episode VII’s cast, although I wish people would just drop the EU fancasting already. It ain’t gonna happen, folks.
We talk a lot about George Lucas in the HoloNet Digest, but he’s not the only member of the family with ties to the Star Wars galaxy. His son Jett, who played a Jedi Padawan in Episodes II and III, recently spoke to Flicks and the City about his potential involvement in Episode VII and his familiarity with the film’s development. Lucas discussed the ongoing and close collaboration between his father and the film’s director, J.J. Abrams, adding, “Between him and the guidelines my dad has set, I have no doubt that the next three movies are going to be great.” The younger Lucas also indicated that he might want a job on the production side of Episode VII. However, he said that because “having another Lucas on that is touchy,” his role would probably be uncredited.
Last Saturday was Star Wars Reads Day. I hope everyone who attended an event had a good time. I’m stuck at college, so I couldn’t make it out to one of those gatherings. However, I did have the chance to speak to four people who are intimately familiar with the world of Star Wars literature on the latest episode of The ForceCast. My co-host and I interviewed the inimitable Lucasfilm duo Leland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo, as well as veteran Star Wars Expanded Universe authors Timothy Zahn and Aaron Allston. If you’re a fan of Star Wars books and want a look inside the storytelling process in the GFFA, I recommend that you give this episode a listen.
Speaking of podcasts about Star Wars books, the fine folks over at Star Wars Bookworms have released an episode featuring audio from author Joe Schreiber’s appearance at a Star Wars Reads Day event in Lancaster, PA. Schreiber read a passage from his upcoming book, Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown (releasing on January 21, 2014), in which the title character battled a Yuuzhan Vong. He also discussed the process of writing the book. He mentioned that it was originally going to be set during The Clone Wars TV series, but that it then changed to a Boba Fett book tying into Star Wars: 1313 before taking on its final form. Click here to head over to the Star Wars Bookworms website and check out their show.
Also on the books front, the titles for the next two Shakespearean Star Wars volumes have been announced. They are William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return. These books will blend the story of Star Wars with the language of Elizabethan England, and they’ll be released on March 24 and July 1, 2014, respectively.
EA may have the license to produce top-tier Star Wars video games, but Disney Interactive is also getting into the game (pun intended) with a new title called Star Wars: Tiny Death Star. The Walt Disney Company subsidiary worked with publisher NimbleBit, makers of the game Tiny Tower, to give iOS and Android owners the chance to “[l]ive life on the dark side and join Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader on a mission to attract Galactic bitizens, run intergalactic businesses, and build an all-new Death Star.” A teaser poster for the game can be found in the announcement post.
Eric Geller is a college student majoring in political science whose interests include technology, journalism, and of course Star Wars. He reviews The Clone Wars TV series and manages social media for Star Wars fan site TheForce.Net. He also co-hosts The ForceCast podcast. He is originally from the Washington, D.C. area.